Document Type : Commentary
Center for Global Development, Washington, DC, USA
As countries around the world seek to deliver universal health coverage, they must prioritize which services to pay for with public funds, to whom, and at what cost. Countries are increasingly using health technology assessment (HTA) to identify which interventions provide the best value for money and merit inclusion in their health benefit packages (HBPs)—the explicit lists of health services provided using public funds. Oortwijn et al understand the importance of providing practical guidance on the foundation of HBP design, and their article, “Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes for Health Benefit Package Design – Part II: A Practical Guide,” provides recommendations for HTA bodies to improve the legitimacy of their decision-making by incorporating four elements in their HBP procedures: stakeholder involvement, evidence-informed evaluation, transparency, and appeal. This article proposes three approaches to enhance the value of the guide: moving from structure to compliance and performance, prioritizing key issues of legitimacy within HBP processes, and acknowledging potential the costs and risks associated with the use of this framework.